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Fusion of cultures in Delhi

The editorial ‘Delhi’s centenary; A fascinating process of evolution’ (December 14) has made an excellent attempt to portray the changes that the great city experienced 100 years since George V declared it as the British capital in 1911.

The description of the evolution of the city would not be complete unless one talks about the change in the culture of ‘Dilliwalas’. The partition of the country and consequently the arrival of refugees from west Punjab in 1947 changed their culture. There was a fusion of the local Delhi culture with the Punjabi culture. Again, with the arrival of people for work from different parts of the country like UP, Bihar and West Bengal in the last few decades, the city turned into a meeting point for different cultures and transformed Delhi into a ‘mini India’ in terms of culture.


‘Power widows’

‘Power windows’ was an interesting writ-up. We are in the habit of saluting the rising sun, forgetting that it is destined to set. Lord Acton rightly said, ‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Colton puts it aptly, ‘Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness, it magnifies littleness.”

The ‘marasi’ in the middle is right in saying, “you put an ass on the chair and he will start roaring like a lion”. Several chairs are adorned by asses!

An Urdu couplet laments, “Barbaad gulistan karne ko bus ek hi ullu kaafi tha, Har shaakh pe ullu baitha hai anjam-e-gulistan kya hoga’. In this world, everybody wants to be somebody. Post-retirement, an acquaintance who flattered me brazenly for getting fee concession for a student, behaved as if I was afflicted with leprosy or AIDS. Though power is a high-voltage battery, it has to get discharged. An Urdu poet says,” Shuhrat ki bulandi bhi pal bhar ka tamasha hai; Jis shaakh pe baithey ho woh toot bhi sakti hai”.



‘Power widows’ (December 15) shows the reality of life of the power-bearers after retirement. But the power-packed experience can be utilised effectively in social service, like helping the downtrodden, educating the poor, motivating teenagers towards de-addiction/self employment, environmental awareness, etc, and, of course, by becoming a part of the anti-corruption campaign.

And, in the process, the so called ‘Power widows’ can become ‘Power windows’ to live a much useful life.

KK SOOD, Talwara

Free electricity

The Punjab government’s sops to Scheduled Caste and BPL families of providing 200 free units per month and waiving off power bills of tubewells is a freebie being doled out as Assembly elections are round the corner. Such decisions certainly ruin the power corporation as 35 per cent people of Punjab are using free electricity, and tariff hike hits the people who are paying the power bills.

The financial condition of the state government and the PSPCL is already critical. Pending subsidy bills of Rs 1,100 crore and additional burden of Rs 350 crore annually will give poor results in future. Consequently, people will have to face long power cuts in summer after the Assembly elections. If this trend of free power continues, a day will soon come when no bank will give loan to the power corporations and the people of Punjab.


Loudspeaker menace

Using loudspeakers at high volume early in the morning and late at night, sometimes even throughout the night, is a common practice in Kapurthala. In the wee hours itself, one is subjected to loud sounds coming from different directions from gurdwaras, temples and mosques.

It is clearly stated in the Constitution of India ( Article 21) that the right to religion does not include right to hold religious discourse on loud speaker and electronic gadgets. Also, the Supreme Court has specified that use of any sound amplifier at night (between 10 pm and 6 am) except in public emergency is prohibited. It is the duty of the local administration to first enforce any law passed by the highest court of the nation and then to keep a strict check on its enforcement.

ACHIL ANAND, Kapurthala

Strict action

I was shocked to read the news item ‘Bengal hooch toll 143” (December 16) which has turned Sangrampur into a village of widows. One question that looms large is that why the administration is so handicapped in sealing unauthorised liquor manufacturing units permanently.

It is an open secret that the ingredients used in the production of ‘hooch’ include ethyl alcohol and methyl and at times are laced with battery acid to give a kick to the consumer. With such rampant and large-scale spiking of pouched liquor, why doesn’t the government do something to curb this menace? 

The owner of a liquor den, Badshah Khokon, named in the FIR should be given exemplary punishment to give a message to the others for not daring to play with the life of the poor. There is a need to put a warning outside the liquor shops and hoardings in the city: “Consuming alcohol is bad for your health and can damage other areas of your life too”. 

H. DEVDHARMI, Chandigarh

A non-issue 

The controversy regarding the date of birth of the present Army chief, which could affect his retirement, is being dragged too much. The AGs (Adjutant General’s) Branch which maintains the records of salary and pension sticks to the year 1951 as his birth year whereas the MS Branch looking after promotions and transfers shows it as 1950.

By asking the two wings to coordinate the birth year, the Army chief is not asking for the moon. As a matter of fact, it should have been done by the authorities concerned on their own.




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